Sugar beets were originally grown to feed livestock and not really fit for human consumption. But you can make your own sugar from them. What is more, use the leftover meat of the beet as a hot or cold mash for your livestock. Waste not, want not!
Beet sugar is easy to make, it doesn’t take a long time and you don’t need any special equipment.
1. Scrub your beets to get all dirt and debris off of them.
2. Thinly slice, dice or shred the beets and place them in a pot.
3. Add just enough water to cover the beets.
4. Heat to a boil then simmer long enough for the beets to become tender and soft.
5. Remove from heat and strain the beet pulp out of the juice using cheesecloth.
6. Return the syrup to the pot.
7. Hold the cheesecloth full of pulp over the pot and squeeze as much water as possible out.
8. Simmer until it becomes thick, honey-like syrup, stirring frequently, then remove from heat.
9. Place in a storage container and allow to cool.
10. As it cools, the sugar will crystalize. Remove crystals and smash into a powder with your fingers so that it looks like table sugar.
11. Store and use just like you would regular sugar.
Refining beets into sugar produces a strong aroma. Use the stove’s exhaust fan and open the windows to minimize it.
Handle beet sugar with dry hands so you won’t introduce any moisture to it. Wet beet sugar has a short shelf life and can harbour bacteria.
Make sugar at home
250g pitted dates
2 handfuls of sunflower seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Simmer dates in a saucepan with water on a low heat for 5 minutes.
2. Whizz all other ingredients, in a food processor for a couple of seconds, until they’ve almost formed a flour-like consistency.
3. Drain and add dates to the food processor – making sure no water from the saucepan goes in.
4. Blend until a sticky paste is formed.
5. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the mixture, and roll into balls with your hands.
6. Store refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.
• 1/2 head cauliflower (between 0.5 – 1 kg.), trimmed and cut into 5cm. florets (about 4 cups florets)
• 4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• About 1 tsp. smoked paprika
• 2 teaspoons salt, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes
• 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
• About 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 3 1/2 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
• Preheat oven to 450°. Put cauliflower florets in a large bowl and add 1 1/2 tbsp. oil, 1 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. salt, the cumin, chilli flakes, and garlic. Toss to coat thoroughly.
• Spread florets evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast, stirring once, until florets are cooked through and a little crispy, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
• Put 1/2 cup water in a blender with roasted cauliflower and garlic, lemon juice, remaining 3 tbsp. oil, the tahini, and remaining 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Blend, adding more water if needed (up to 1/4 cup) and scraping sides often, until you have a creamy purée, about 4 minutes. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if you like.
• Spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of smoked paprika.
• Make ahead: Up to 3 days, chilled airtight.
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If you don’t know what Rejuvelac is, you would be in good company. I did not know either!
Simply put, Rejuvelac is grain water. It is made by sprouting grain and soaking the sprouted grain in water.
It is very nutritious and beneficial to your digestive system. Known as a natural and healthy probiotic, it is also packed with vitamins B, K and E, proteins and enzymes.
An added benefit is that it can be consumed by people who are sensitive to yeast.
You can use any grain, but a soft grain seems to work best. You can use:
Experiment to find out what you like, but keep in mind that each grain will give the Rejuvelac a different taste.
In this recipe, buckwheat is used to make the Rejuvelac.
You can also make it stronger by using more grain and less water.
• 2 Cups of buckwheat
• Water – enough to cover the buckwheat completely
• Measure 2 cups of buckwheat into your sprouting jar.
• Cover with cool (16-20°) water. Use clean water. Filtered water if possible.
• Stir seeds up to assure even water contact.
• Soak for 8 – 12 hours.
• Pour off water.
• Rinse (fill jar 3/4 full with water), twirl vigorously, pour water out, and repeat – if necessary – until water runs clear).
• Use cool (16-20°) water.
• Drain thoroughly by shaking your jar – you want as little water as possible to remain in your jar between rinses.
• Set your jar in a low-light, room temperature (20° is best) location.
• Rinse and drain, as mentioned above, again 8 – 12 hours later.
• 8 – 12 hours later your seeds will have the beginnings of little tails (roots).
• Add 6 cups of water (spring, purified or tap) to the sprouts and place the jar in the usual low-light, room temperature (20° is best) location for 2 days.
• Pour liquid – this is your Rejuvelac – into a glass and drink some!
• Refrigerate the remainder until ready to drink or use in a recipe.
You can make more Rejuvelac, using the same sprouts – up to 3 times. Just keep in mind that the Rejuvelac will have a stronger, more fermented, taste when you re-use the same sprouts.
Don’t just throw the sprouts away. Birds and chickens love them. Used sprouts are also very beneficial in worm farms and compost heaps.
I have to warn you though. It is an acquired taste. But my mother always says that the best medicine doesn’t always taste good!
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• 400g Baby marrows
• 100g Toasted cashew nuts
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh coriander leaves
• 2 Small crushed garlic cloves
• 80ml Olive oil
• 125ml Grated parmesan
• 120ml Lemon juice and zest (2 lemons)
• 300g Crumbled Feta
• 120g Sundried tomatoes
• 10 – 12 Slices toasted bruschetta
• Place all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend. Add extra olive oil if needed and season to taste.
• Heat a griddle pan and toast the bruschetta.
• Spread pesto on toast and top up with feta and sundried tomatoes.
• If you don’t like sundried tomatoes, peppadews will work just as well.
Contributor: Bets Janse van Rensburg
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